Cruising the back roads of northern Yavapai County, north of Prescott, Arizona. It’s early spring in the mile-high desert, that time of year between intermittent winter snows and the first plant growth of the season.
East from Chino Valley on Perkinsville Road. A stop at the Verde River near the ghost town of Perkinsville (inaccessible to the public except by riding the Verde Canyon Railroad), then more wandering on the public National Forest roads. Lots of open country. Dry and dusty, but high and wide, too.
The photographers’ Golden Hour has arrived. I find a turnout on a ridge along the Perkinsville-Jerome Road. Clear views all around, but especially to the northeast, where the red rock cliffs west of Sedona are prominent. In the far distance the snow-capped San Francisco Peaks, about 80 miles away up at Flagstaff.
As the sun nears the horizon behind me, the color temperature warms the light on the scenery. The reds and pinks of the various rock layers, the dark greens of the juniper and pinon pine trees, the hazy blues and purples of the distant hills and mountains.
All is well. Sun below the horizon, warm colors extinguished. Cool dusk.
A bit more lingering, then the return drive home.
[Click on the photo to see a much larger, more detailed version]